An editorial report accusing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of harassment at a music festival in 2000 has resurfaced after almost two decades. The incident occurred when Trudeau was 28 years old.
In August 2000, a community newspaper in British Columbia, Creston Valley Advance, accused Trudeau of harassing a young female reporter at a music festival. At the time, Trudeau was more commonly known as son of former Prime Minister, Pierre Elliot Trudeau. He gained fame on his own merit, later in 2000, while delivering a powerful eulogy at his father’s funeral.
The Creston Valley article, a strongly worded and opinionated piece on Trudeau’s irresponsible actions, defamed the current Prime Minister and questioned his ability to behave in public.
The editor wrote, “[S]houldn’t the son of a former prime minister be aware of the rights and wrongs that go along with public socializing?”
He also said, “Didn’t he learn through his vast experiences in public life, that groping a strange young woman isn’t in the handbook of proper etiquette, regardless of who she is, what her business is or where they are?”
The editorial also quoted that Trudeau’s response to the woman he harassed was an apology for inappropriately ‘handling’ her. The article quotes him saying, “I’m sorry. If I had known you were reporting for a national paper, I never would have been so forward.” The editor of the magazine took this as a de facto guilty plea.
While the article got lost over the years, it resurfaced after Brietbart brought attention to it. Social media also recently jumped onto the article to criticize Trudeau as a self-described feminist.
In an interview with CBC News, Trudeau said that politicians should be held accountable for actions from their past, saying, “There is no context in which someone doesn’t have responsibility for things they’ve done in the past.”
He was also asked during the interview if women might accuse him of inappropriate behavior, to which he replied, “I don’t think so. I’ve been very, very careful all my life to be thoughtful and to be respectful of people’s space and people’s headspace as well.”
Watch the full interview below:
Trudeau has championed feminism and women’s rights since the start of his tenure as Prime Minister. He established a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment in 2015, suspending several party members after they were accused of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior.
In 2017, he wrote an essay addressing the #MeToo movement, in which he emphasized that parents must raise their sons as feminists. He wrote, “[O]ur sons have the power and the responsibility to change our culture of sexism. Our sons have the power and the responsibility to change our culture of sexism.”
He also created a ‘gender equity’ budget in February to help reduce the gender pay gap.